Friday, 21 December 2012

Book Review: Who Could That Be At This Hour?















Lemony Snicket is back.

Back with a new series after the huge success of his 13 strong Series of Unfortunate Events. Although a children's authour he writes in such a way that his books are entertaining for adults and children alike.  This book is the first in a new series aptly titled All the Wrong Questions. It provides more insight into the mysterious life of the beguiling Snicket whilst telling a story that is fast paced funny and captivating.

This book is for book lovers. Many references are aimed at the adult reader and helps the book cross that difficult boundary in being able to grip all age readers. For me the inclusion of a library pivitol to the plot was something that I loved.

I read this book in one sitting. Some of that was because I needed to get it back to the Library so the kids could enjoy it but more so then anything else I was hooked.
Full of exciting places, curious incidents and deliciously familiar Snicket esque characters that keep you turning the pages intrigued to find out what happens next.


If you have read any other books by Snicket then you will recognise his familier style immediately from this first chapter. The story is at its simpliest a detective story but in true Snicket style it is full of twists and turns that entertain you throughout. I thought I had answers to the wrong questions but it turns out my answers were wrong and now I will have wait eagerly for the second in the quartet to be written!

I am debating re-reading the whole Series of Unfortunate Events just to give me by Snicket fill whilst I wait for the next book.

For fans of Snicket this is a must read



Currently Reading: Syren by Angie Sage



Saturday, 15 December 2012

Doing what you love...

I have been MIA for the last few weeks because I have been quite unwell. It’s been pretty irritating to be poorly when I have so much to get on with.

I am basically now a week behind from the schedule I gave myself. It’s frustrating as I had this deadline to get my work done by and it just feels a little impossible now.

However, the time spent being poorly has provided me with valuable time and given me more time to do some things I love because my brain hasn't been in gear to work.

I am a keen crafter. I love a good project and am constantly trying to learn new skills. But I never plan the time in to do these things. It’s always around Christmas I suddenly wish I knitted a nativity set, cross stitched cards and tags and made a few sweet gifts for friends. However by the time I decide to do any of this it’s too late.

I like a good to-do list and love to have a routine and plan yet I never plan in time to do my hobbies. If anything I imagine if I gave myself more time to do these things I wouldn't begrudge the time I spend doing the rest of the to do list so much because I could use my hobbies as a reward for writing an assignment or doing housework.

So I am going to make some time for my past times from now on (I hope)
With Christmas around the corner this is going to be easier as I will get a nice break whilst school is out but when term starts again in January I am going to actively try to do the things I love.

Maybe this time next year my tags and cards will have cute little cross stitched motifs and I might even have a knitted nativity sitting on my mantelpiece!


 Some of my recent projects!


Currently reading : Queste by Angie Sage

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Distance Learning

I am currently studying a masters in Information and Library management. I am doing this as a distance learning course. Not only does it mean my masters is not just 1 year but 2 years it is different from part-time in the fact I do not have to attend university at all.
I have no face to face contact with my lecturers, fellow students or any other students attending the university. At first I felt I would be fine with this. My undergrad degree in history was pretty self motivated with very few lectures and contact time so I thought I would cope well.
As the weeks have gone on I have found there are some specific things that i really miss from being a student IN an actual university not just on a course.
I am as you may have guessed from previous posts and tweets easily distracted and working from home this has become more prominent.

As a future librarian I have now see the true value of the academic library as a student. I miss Hugh Owen Library in Aberystwyth rather a lot. I miss the resources being so easily available but I also miss the space a library gives you to study without distraction. Working from home is so distracting for me. I find something to do all the time that is not work. This is particularly the case when I am finding work tough or confusing. I just procrastinate like mad to avoid doing anything. The library at university gives you space to study with minimal distraction. Furthermore if your feeling stuck there are some many resources around that you can at least find a book or journal that can help you understand more.

Although the university I am part of is quite happy to post me books out they will not post be anything that is in electronic format. I much prefer working from a book as opposed to something online. It also costs to send the books back with postage charges. I would love to be able to have as many books from the library as possible but with these charges its just not practical.

So I trekked in car, train and bus to Loughborough University to use their library. They actually offer the information library management course which meant they had lots and lots of books for me to use. Unfortunately I couldn't use the computers or check out books but I did get to use many books and take loads of notes to use for the rest of the weeks to come. I am going to go again before Christmas to crack on with some more work as it was really helpful.

I am also going to start staying at school later to get work done before I come home. It should hopefully mean I get more done and am less distracted.

I obviously miss other aspects of studying at university including lectures and other students but other then that it is a good idea and helps me have a job at the same time.

How are you other distance learners feeling? What are things you like and dislike about the course?

Currently Reading: Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

I wrote this post on Monday like a good organised blogger but I have been ill this week so only just posting!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

NLPN Event

My blogging plan has not worked out quite as smoothly as I had hoped. To be honest I think I have to do something drastic now to sort out my prioritising and focus! So I have decided to stay at the school doing my work before I go home. This will mean I am home a lot later but should in theory mean I get a lot more done before I even step through the door.
This should have been Monday’s blogs and I almost posted it on Tuesday but here I am on Wednesday and I feel I could end up posting 2 blogs! I promise not to overload you but feel I need to catch myself up a bit.
So below is my mini review of the NLPN professional’s day that I went to on the 10th November. Enjoy!

On 10th November I went to my first ever librarian gathering. Needles to say I was pretty excited.

My excitement was not misplaced. I finally got to meet some people from my course, some other librarians and the first graduate trainee at my school Penelope. Just this alone made it a great day for me but then you include the excellent speakers and how much I learnt and it was just a really well thought out and put together event.

For me the informal setting and delivery made sure I didn't begrudge giving up my Saturday and the relevant content and 'interactivity' meant I didn't get bored at any point.
The social media information was so helpful for my current coursework that I felt the penny dropping for the direction to take some of my assignments which was excellent. There were so many examples and ideas given that I am sure as my career progresses I will be using these in my work.

For me as a newbie to the profession it was just wonderful to hear other people's experiences and encouraging to see so many people that enjoy their jobs.
Unfortunately I couldn't go to the social afterwards which I really would have liked so next time I will make sure I can just to get more involved.

I will definitely be at the next event and hopefully keeping in touch with my new librarian friends


To find out more follow them on Twitter or visit the blog 
Manchester NLPN












Currently Reading: Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Book Worm Wednesday

So today is a scheduled blog day hopefully my first of many. My idea for this day is to blog about what I am reading, post reviews and hopefully give good recommendations if I have any.

This year has been and probably will be the best year of reading in my entire life. Although I did not enjoy my time in the call centre it gave me the chance to read so many books that I had been wanting to read for so long.

During the 8 months I was at the call centre this year I read 49 books. It averages out at just over a book a week. There were some weeks were I read masses because there was so little work I had to do something to pass the time. Although I really enjoyed reading so much at the same time it was frustrating that something I love become something I did to pass time as opposed to something I did as a past time.

During the 2 1/2 months working at school I have read 6 books. This seems alot more normal to me and I have enjoyed reading for enjoyment again rather then reading so the days do not drag on and on.

This so far brings my grand total of books read in 2012 to 55. To be honest I doubt I will ever achieve this kind of figure again. I imagine I will forever look back at 2012 as the peak in my reading years. I have enjoyed the variety of books I managed to read.

A notable accomplishment for me was reading The Lord of the Rings. I have been desperate to read this trilogy since the first film came out over 10 years ago. I have had several attempts which I failed at about chapter 7.  With the ample time available at the call centre I powered through and soon had finished both books in about 8 days. When you read solidly for almost 8 hours its amazing how much you can get through.

Even with all these amazing reads behind me I am excited to now be reading at a slower pace and really enjoying taking my time with books. I am trying to set a reading list for 2013 so if you have any recommendations please let me know as I love trying new authors and new genres. I am midway through a few series so I have a couple more on my list for 2012.

Below I have found this handy widget showing a display of the front covers of my reads this year. I tracked them for a while on good old fashioned notepaper but on discovering Goodreads I tracked this years books using this handy little app.


Read in 2012
The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Killing Hour
Never Look Away: A Thriller
If I Stay
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Novice
Alone
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The Return of the King
Before I Go To Sleep
The Midwife's Confession
The High Lord
Sing You Home
The Hunger Games
Love You More
Daphne
The Two Towers
Hide
Something Borrowed
The Interpretation of Murder


Read in 2012 »




Currently Reading: Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Planning...

Half term ended over a week ago and I am back at the school for the winter term. It has made me panic in all honesty being already in November. Not only am I in no way ready for Christmas I am also nowhere near ready with my work.  

My last post was ironically about the one thing I lacked during half term- Motivation. I did manage to ramble out some words to give me a rough idea for one of my outlines but that I am afraid that was the extent of my work for the whole of my thoroughly enjoyable half term.

I have decided to structure my weeks a bit better. Working in a school Library gives me ample time when I get home to study, do jobs and even rest yet sometimes I get home and I just cannot prioritise which jobs on my to do list need doing first. From an earlier blog post I showed my home management folder which recently has been rather neglected but with my new determination to be organised for my course and for Christmas I am going to make the most of it. With the new organised Lydia in mind I am also going to be organising my blog a little more.
My fellow blogging friend
Emma  recently did the same thing and it’s really got her blogging more consistently. So using her idea I have decided I am going to blog on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday and each blog is going to focus on different things.  I don’t want to blog randomly I want them to follow a bit of theme. I am not sure what each day will be yet but I know one will be a weekly book review (If I manage to read enough). I also might do a challenges page for all the goals I have reading and fitness wise. The third blog day is undecided but is most likely going to be about my library life and other things I have happening.
Like my blogging life I have done a similar thing with when to work, do housework and rest. It’s structure more in blocks of time then in days but I am hoping I can keep it consistent. I have added a marvellous (if I do say so myself) timetable to my home management folder and I think I might print second copies for my cork boards just to remind myself! Hopefully I can stick to it. So far this week it’s going pretty well.

I know today isn't one of my blogging days mentioned above but I drafted this blog out yesterday just didn't post it!

Currently Reading: Eldest by Chistopher Paolini






Saturday, 10 November 2012

Book review: The Interpretation of Murder

I am on a very long bus journey so decided to take the opportunity to attempt to use my blogger app to post a book review hopefully it will be a smooth process. Let me apologise in advance for any errors that may occur!

Although I mentioned a review for The Killables would be on its way I have literally finished a book today and felt as its fresh in my mind I would review it first.

This book is The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld. This was one of my bargain purchases I made whilst in the kingdom of Hay-On-Wye.

As I was on half term I made this decision to read a book aimed more at my age range then my precious reads during term time. I was really intrigued by the blurb and reputation of this book and thought it would be the perfect choice.

The story is set in New York in 1909 during the first and only visit of the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud to America. During which a murder takes places and Freud and his American follower Younger are enlisted to uncover the truth. On the back of the book there are several quotes form sources who have thoroughly enjoyed the book. One in particular by the Scotsman says,

'a thrilling heart-in-the-mouth read...once you start reading, it's impossible to put down'

this quote for me had major impact. I love it when a book is so good you can't stop reading it. That you are so intrigued you attempt to cook reading, eat reading and do anything possible to read on. However unlike the Scotsman I did not find this to be true. It took me what felt like forever to get into this book. It was a really wade and the opposite of a page turner to begin with. It took a lot of discipline and perseverance to keep reading and I am so pleased I did as once you make it past the first few slow chapters the story picks up pace and takes you on an unexpected path. Although some chapters are a little obscure and slightly unnecessary the story holds together well.
The conclusion was unexpected and clever and I was pleased with the ending! I would recommend this as a read and I will be attempting his second book The Death Instinct as a result.

All in all a well put together murder mystery. Prepare yourself for a few chapters that drag but overall a worthwhile read.


Power through those chapters and it will be worth it


I am linking this page with Catch a single thought's 'Book Love' BOOKLOVEBADGE

*After attempting to publish this with my blogger app I have to say I am not 100% happy with the results. On my phone its very difficult to use even though I have a rather large phone screen its still quite difficult to see. It was very difficult getting it to show me any spelling errors and the process of changing them was equally as frustrating. I think in future I will just draft on my the app and publish only when I have double checked at home.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Driven to distraction!

If I look at my CV one of the phrases or buzz words that I have always written down about myself is that I am self-motivated. I mentioned it in my application for my masters and in my personal statement to apply for the graduate trainee position I am in.

I am starting to question how true this statement is about me. I actually looked the phrase up on dictionary.com and this is the definition

"Initiative to undertake or continue a task or activity without another's prodding or supervision" (Dictonary.com accessed 28th October 2012)

At work I would say this is completely accurate. I have initiated work myself and created my own projects whilst also following great direction. 

However, when it comes to my masters and my housework I am the ultimate procrastinator. I can find myself distracted by the easiest of things and often I go the long way round to put the actual task off for as long as possible. 
Recently whilst attempting to study for my Masters I have found the internet one of the biggest distractions. Even when I turn off my computer and take good old fashioned notes with a pen I still have a phone that will buzz when a watched item on eBay is ending or when someone has emailed me. It is the ultimate distraction. I have to make a major decision to shut out the temptation to look at my phone or to get myself in a bidding war on eBay. eBay is probably the worst distraction for me. I love to browse items for the house and recently with Christmas approaching I have been enjoying finding beautiful handmade decorations on eBay. I can browse for ages even though I know I have a fair bit of work to complete. 

I am hoping I can live up to my description of myself during half term. I have given myself a hypothetical deadline for completing my two assignments a month before they are due in January. At the moment I am not sure how realistic this aim is but I am hoping that if I get cracking (and typing) I will get some words written by the end of half term and then hopefully I will be on roll and want be able to stop typing (a girl can dream). 

To help I looked up a few tips online about remaining motivated. One of the suggestions was to write a list of the steps towards your goal. Breaking down what you need to do into manageable chunks so it doesn't look like a mountain to climb but more of a series of hurdles to jump. So tomorrow I plan to create a list of steps required for both my assignments, hopefully it will work!

I have had a lovely lazy day today in hopes that it will be the final one of half term and I can get myself up and working tomorrow. I do thankfully have some lovely plans with great friends and my hubby for his birthday so half term should still feel like a holiday rather than a working week.  

Any others studying and struggling to stay motivated? Any tips on how to keep going?

Currently Reading: The Killables by Gemma Malley (Review coming soon)






Sunday, 21 October 2012

My first half marathon!


Well it’s fresh in my mind I thought I would write up my blog about my half marathon experience this morning. Firstly its sweet relief to finally being sitting down! My legs are pretty sore and feel like they weigh a ton but on the whole I am feeling pretty good and am on a finished race high. I shall hopefully be able to do justice to the race story and explain just how much I loved the experience.

Saturday 13th October

I wake up a bag of nerves. The whole week I have managed to keep it together, managed to be more excited than worried and on Saturday my resolve feel apart a little bit and I began to panic over issues that never bothered me before.  I paced around Derby shopping centre getting myself into a right flap about socks. Yes I said it socks. I was panicking to the point that I had to ring my lovely friend Sarah who also ran the half and actually asked her sock advice. It may have been the most random call I have ever made in my life. However, thanks to Sarah having a rational head on her shoulders she calmed me down and I felt myself relax a bit.
A short train ride and drive later I was in Leicester. After a lovely meal with Sarah and her aunt and uncle (who generously let me stay over) we had an early night to be run ready the next day.
We didn't carb load at all, we just ate a substantial amount of good nutritious food and made sure we didn't feel over full or hungry.

Sunday 14th October

So this morning I woke up and the nerves had finally subsided. I had a really good night’s sleep and felt confident I could do the race. After a great breakfast of cornflakes and a banana we set off. Wonderful servant hearted Andy, Sarah’s husband drove us to the race.  Parking was restricted and the area around the start was pretty rammed so us runners set off with good look fist bumps from Andy and the support team.

For those thinking of doing the Leicester Half a few tips, if you need the toilet head straight there!  We had to queue for quite a while so we started later then the official start time because we had to dash from the loo to the start line.  The race starts with a downhill mile. I did what everyone had told me not to do and set off too fast, up until the point I caught up Sarah I hadn't really realised. It was much amusing when I turned to Sarah and said “I am running too fast aren't I”
Thankfully I managed to get myself under control and although I achieved some major personal bests in the first 10 miles I really began to slow down.

The amazing support team (Andy, Dan and Ethan) appeared out of nowhere and handed me a delicious Lucozade sport drink which I was in dire need off!  I was also really boosted by their cheering and clapping. I strongly recommend having a team of people chant your name whilst your run it’s a real morale boost. 

So with 5 miles to go I was doing well, I was achieving my goal mileage time and was feeling ok. The story changed as I hit the 10 mile mark. Even though I knew all I had left was 3 miles which I have done so many times it was in all honesty the hardest 3 miles I have ever run in my life! I felt like I was dragging my body along by sheer force of will. My average mileage really slowed and I had to consciously tell myself to keep it up! Thankfully I had purchased an SIS Sports Gel in case of emergency. Mile 12 I ravenously tore through the top and super speedily downed the energy gel. It worked wonders probably more subconsciously then physically. It helped to power me up the final mile. I had been warned the final mile was a hill but it was a more of a steady incline. I still had to push myself up, thankfully my amazing friend Sarah, who finished with the awesome time of 1 hour 56 Minutes, came along to run a small burst of the final mile with me and give me some much needed encouragement. With that added encouragement and the amazing high of being so close to the finish I pushed myself on and finished in 2 hours and 16 minutes. I am so chuffed with this time. I was quite worried about what my time would be.  I am well aware that when you enter a race most people’s first question is “what was your time?” I wanted to be confident with my reply. Thankfully just a few miles in I was so enjoying being part of the race that I lost fear of what my time would be and just wanted to complete the race and enjoy it. 136 minutes and 13.1 miles later I feel amazing and cannot believe I have actually done it. Considering I had not run over 6 miles earlier this year to be able to say I have run a half marathon it’s unreal.
Thanks to the support team and Sarah it was such an enjoyable raced and I am excited to train for the next one!



I am still raising money for The Katie Piper Foundation and will have my just giving page open until the 15th November.
If you would like to give a donation please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/LydiaBales

Currently Reading: Flyte by Angie Sage (I loved Eragon)

Friday, 12 October 2012

Book Review: Magyk by Angie Sage



When I started working in the library I was well aware I would need to start reading more teenage fiction. My children’s book knowledge is about 10 years out of date. Although I often re-read many of the series I read as a child it has been a long time since I started reading a new book not written for my age group. 

So when it was time to start reading a book in the school I was spoilt for choice. There are so many options and so many new authors to discover that I had to ask the children for advice. They gave me a list as long as my arm that will probably take me forever to read. After much thought I chose a series of 7 books the first of which I am going to review.

I chose to read Septimus Heap: Magyk by Angie Sage. This book is full of magic and adventure and as I have always been partial to a story with wizards I felt it would be a good starting point. 

Needless to say I was overjoyed when I discovered I loved it! I found myself eager to read more and completely intrigued by the plot. The story revolves around the Heap family who after a string of mysterious events find themselves centre stage in a battle that has been brewing for years. I have to admit I figured some of the twists out before they took place but baring in mind that the book is aimed at younger readers I am not too surprised by that. The writing is fast paced, funny and imaginative. The world Sage creates is believable with many original attributes I have not yet found in a fantasy story although there are definitely some parts that will remind you of other wizarding worlds. I would recommend the book but it is definitely written towards younger readers although adults who enjoy a quick read without reading rubbish will enjoy it too.

A good start to a series shame the rest are not as good!

I am looking forward to reading the second book. Sadly however a student has taken it out of the library. Obviously I am thrilled they checked it out but it is awfully tempting to abuse my librarian power and recall it! Unable to continue with that series I have started the first book in The Inheritance Cycle called Eragon. Another recommended read from the student's list! 

 At some point I am sure I will review a book that's not aimed at teenagers but I feel like I need to get cracking with the list the students gave me as they worked pretty hard on it. 
On another exciting note I tweeted Angie Sage about enjoying Magyk and she actually replied! It made my day!
Currently Reading: Still reading and thoroughly enjoying Eragon!

I am linking this page with Catch a single thought's 'Book Love' BOOKLOVEBADGE

Monday, 8 October 2012

Display Queen

Having worked in the Library now for over a month I felt it was time to show everyone so of the fruits of my labour!
Due to the fact that a lot of the work I do takes place at a desk and with students I can not show you much but I can show you the creative side of my job in the form of...

Displays!


As I am working in a school library displays are quite a high priority. The library is there to inform students of upcoming dates, events and to keep the library looking appealing! Events are a great opportunity to run library competitions and to encourage reading!

I have found that I have quite a natural flair for displays. I do enjoy scrap-booking and craft so I do think that must have helped. It is also a lot easier as I essentially get free reign with my displays.  Below is a list of the displays and book displays I have created so far.

I am most pleased with my Never Judge a Book by its Movie display. I am always surprised when people do not realise what movies are actually based on books. Its been really fun watching kids take books from the display and its definitely worked in getting them to read some different books ( I can not help myself but to encourage more science fantasy reading)

Displays I have created so far...
  • Roald Dahl Day
  • Spooky Stories
  • The Hobbit anniversary
  • National Poetry Day
  • Black History Month
  • Never Judge a Book by its Movie
  • Roald Dahl Day Funny Prize



As you can see I am still enjoying the job!

 Currently Reading: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Monday, 1 October 2012

Up and running!

It’s been a while since I blogged, unfortunately I have been crazy busy and despite the home management folder I am still fathoming out how to balance everything.
I have had a few hectic weeks but I am finally getting the hang of everything so I hope this week can be a bit more organised!
Although the last few weeks have been super busy I have really been enjoying both the job and the degree. Both are challenging in different ways and I am learning a lot.  I cannot really believe I have been working in the school for a whole month. One month in the call centre felt like forever so it’s a bit surreal feeling time fly for once!
Other than studying and library life I have recently joined a local running club.  I have been running for the past 2 years on and off training for various events and just generally for my fitness. Earlier this year I signed up for a half marathon with my super keen running friend Sarah. As the date approaches (2 weeks to go) I am getting more apprehensive and was struggling to motivate myself and so I joined the local club.
In all honesty I do not know why I did not join sooner. Having other people around you whilst you run is so motivating and much safer (much to my husband’s and mum’s relief) it’s also great for improving. The leaders of the group are so encouraging and have really got me back into enjoying going out for a run.  It’s added a new structure to my running schedule which means I am much more likely to get out and go as I know people are waiting for me.
Running for me really is escapism, you can’t do any of the jobs on your to do list while you are out there. For me this is such a good thing. I have planned my work into such a routine but sometimes I can still find it difficult to stop and rest. A good run forces me to step away from the text books and by the time I am back in I have got out of the work mind-set and this allows me to have a bit of down time.  
I am hoping that after I complete the half marathon I will be able to improve my speed through working with those in the club.
If you have not tried running or are a runner but run continually alone I’d really encourage you to join a club in your area. I am really enjoying it!
Currently reading: Magyk By Angie Sage (recommended by the students)

Friday, 14 September 2012

Swimming in the deep end!

So today marks my second week at my new job. My course also started this week. At the moment it’s just a lot of reading and introductions but I am already enjoying it. I have quite suddenly realised how busy I am going to be. Having spent the majority of this year doing practically nothing else but reading and answering a couple of motorcycle tyre related calls in the call centre it’s going to be pretty challenging. However, with the help of some fellow bloggers and the wonder that is Word I have created myself something akin to an organisational bible. I am treating it with the same reverence I treat the succession folder that was left for me by the two previous trainees’. Currently it contains every planning page I could think of. Starting with basics of when to clean what on to my fitness and even has a handy family birthday’s page just so I do not forget to send cards! Now I have my course work information I plan to create a page to help me prioritise work so I can work to all my deadlines.
The Folder of dreams!
The scary text books

It’s quite a strange experience going back into the academic world. I have not been a student for a  while  during those 2 years off I have barely written anything let alone an essay.  Even just the reading material has reminded me how little non-fiction I have read in the recent years! I managed to read a power point incorrectly that was sent to me and rather then read the sentence as what we DO NOT expect , I read it as what we DO expect. Well needless to say I practically had heart failure when underneath this heading it read ‘to be a fully-fledged web developer’. Although I am ok with computers I am certainly not that and I began to panic that I had not read my course application as thoroughly as I had supposed!Thankfully they do not expect such high standards of me and the course should equip me in the areas I am lacking. My first two modules get under way next week and I am overly excited to begin now I have seen the course information.  One of my first modules is Hypermedia and I am very keen to learn as much as possible on this course, which is assessed with the creation of my own website! I am sure I am going to find myself swimming in the deep end over the next few weeks but there is a lot of support offered to those studying via distance learning so I am hoping to get in touch with them and get to grips with the coursework and I am sure my home management folder will help me doing this with flare!
Here are the links to the other fantastically organised bloggers that inspired me to organise my life!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

First Day

Started my new job this week (yeah) so have decided to post about my other summer events later on if I remember. 

So after a very long 4 months of waiting I finally started my new job on Monday. As it was inset day the first day was child free and was filled with me getting the lay of the land and understanding more about the Library system. Thankfully my two predecessors were wonderfully efficient and left a folder full of guidelines and advice to help me with the job. I am pretty sure I am in love with this folder. I feel very much like Monica in Friends around it, overly protective!  (See episode : The One Where Ross is Fine episode)
So far with the help of this guide and my very lovely boss I feel I am getting slowly up to speed on not only what my job entails but also what I will be learning over the next year. So far so good. 

Today the children arrived. Thankfully not all at once, as the School is large they stagger the arrival of the children. This calmed my nerves a lot although considering how many there were here today I can not imagine how full the school will feel tomorrow when the rest of years descend. 
The children however make my job even more enjoyable. Although I thoroughly love books it is an added bonus to be able to encourage the children in reading and also helping them discover new things in the Library. 

So far this job could not be any more different from my previous job. I feel very productive and this has already overflowed into my home life. I feel much more accomplished after my day. Even more exciting is my day's no longer drag. I spent most of my time in the previous job wishing the day to hurry up, twiddling my thumbs and passing time in any way I could. In the library time is my friend. I rarely feel the need to glance at the clock, there is always something I can be doing and even more so because I my brain is constantly buzzing with new information to learn and this is only day 2!

I have this week left before my Masters work kicks in. I am really looking forward to entering back into the academic world. I am not sure how Distance Learning works in courses so it will be interesting to see how I cope with learning without access to lectures, tutors and not to mention the Library. Hopefully I will learn quite quickly how the Masters course works when you don't actually enter the university. For now however I am content to pass this week without out too much starting at once. I am quite relived the course did not start at the same time as I am not sure I could have coped with so much at once having done so little for so long!

So the beginning of my journey to become a Librarian has begun. I am excited for what the rest of the year holds! 

Currently Reading: Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Hay-On-Wye


I am back. After blogging about our anniversary I went away for two weeks and so am now returning with a few catch up blogs!

In the first week of mine and Kiev’s holidays we travelled to one of my favourite places. We went to the lovely Kingdom of Hay-On-Wye. If you are a book lover and have not visited, you really need to get yourself there.

 

A Mini History

In a tiny little village in Hay-On-Wye a wonderful man called Richard Booth opened a second hand bookshop and from there it progressed and Hay now boasts over 20 beautiful bookshops. Recently it celebrated 50 years! Every year they have a book festival which so far I have never been to but it is on my list of things to do.

Our Trip

I have never been to Hay-On-Wye without one of my parents, also huge book lovers, this time was no different. Normally we usually go for just one day but we have all been keen to stay over to make the most of all the shops. So we stayed in a very cosy little hotel with rooms aptly named after authors. Kev and I were in the Roald Dahl room.

The journey from Wolverhampton was not too long and thankfully my dad knows the route very well. We arrived and it was wet which to be honest makes little difference to the day. We stopped for a quick cake and then went a bit crazy in book shops over the next few days. Kev is much more of a film then a book guy but he always manages to find some bargains there aswell.

I left with a total of 17 books all under £2. I also treated myself to the Folio Society Edition of The Wizard of Oz. I have a very small collection of second hand folios all purchased in Hay so I was excited to add this to my collection. The majority of my purchases were of the Lisa Gardner thriller persuasions but I did pick up some new authors to try.

I am having a Hay break for the rest of the year as I need to save up again for the next trip and to read through all my new (old) books!

 
 

If you have not heard of Hay and would like to go I suggest you visit there website http://www.hay-on-wye.co.uk

Currently Reading: Alone by Lisa Gardner

 


 

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

2 Years Old


I have now officially been married to Kev for two years.  
Inspired by Rachel’s blog www.vicarswifeintraining.blogspot.com and her post about tips for married life and what she has learnt I thought I too would put up the pearls of wisdom I have supposedly gained.

1.       Kev has quite dutifully driven me pretty much everywhere for the last 2 years of our marriage. He has picked me up when I have missed trains and when I have lost the will to get on a bus. I have to be careful though not to take this for granted and just assume he will always fetch me.  The word thank you means to much in a relationship and it’s important to say it not just assume it’s implied!
2.       I am definitely a very emotional woman. I have been known to cry at most films and some particularly moving adverts (The Tetley Tea one really chokes me up). Unfortunately for Kev this means I cry over quite trivial problems making them appear 100 times worse than they are. I have been really learning over the last 2 years to seriously control my emotions. They should not rule you! Even when I am upset, tears do not need to be my go to option and I am continually trying to choose to react differently.
3.       I am also a chatty wife. I need to talk things out to process anything. Sometimes using 27 words when 6 would have got my point across just as easily. However, I really have had to adjust as my husband likes to think things through to understand them. Initially this caused some very strange discussions where I talked and talked wondering why on earth he had not responded. Although I am still learning to give Kev his time to think it’s so important to discuss things in a way that works for you both as this will definitely lead to a solution faster!
4.       Mess is a part of my life. I am, unfortunately for the hubby a very messy person. Give me any space and I will fill it with a lot of stuff. As my dad used to tell me when I lived at home, I like to build nests of stuff around the house. This has travelled with me and now Kev has the privilege of putting up with it.  He on the other hand is supremely tidy, to the point that he notices things that have moved barely a millimetre out of place. I am of course not saying that marriage has miraculously made me tidy, I have however adjusted through marriage and learnt a love for making my home a special and enjoyable place to be in and because my husband loves a tidy house I actively try to keep it this way for him. Naturally he helps me in this effort. He did once make the error of tidying away my knitting which resulting in the loss of my place and a few stitches (knitting ones not surgical). He did learn not to do that again.
5.       No matter how much you may want your home to be full of girly shabby chic d├ęcor you have to let him have a small amount of say in the house. I won our living room with a copious amount of Cath Kidston but I have had to accept that for many more years to come there will be several comic book character models, star wars ships and a life-size cardboard cut-out of C3PO who I am sure will continue to frighten me every time I forget it’s there!

I love being a Mrs and discovering more about each other and learning together! 


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Finally!


Today is the day I have been waiting for. Four months ago I was thankfully offered a new job in the career path I really wanted to pursue. I for once in my life managed to keep this relatively secret so that I could continue working in the call centre. Last Monday I finally handed in my notice and revealed all. Considering I am on a temporary contract I didn’t expect anyone to be surprised but there were a few shocked faces when I announced I was leaving.

I am taking a few weeks off before I start both the course and the new job but I am so excited. I have been wishing the time would pass more quickly but the lack of a lot to do has meant it’s taken its sweet time getting to August. I have spent just shy of a year answering a few calls and reading my way through my book shelves, the Lisa Gardner collection and spending far too much money downloading books to my Kindle.  Finally however I am going to start a job in a career that will not only keep me busy but I will no longer be home so late, catch so many buses and be so bored.  It’s not the work that was really the issue it was the lack of work that caused me such frustration! I know many people who would love the scenario I just described. However getting paid to do nothing has in reality made me feel quite useless.

I wonder how many other people are in jobs they dislike. I know how frustrating it can be being in a career that you just do not want. I spent quite a while in this situation and although freedom is just around the corner it’s taking me a lot of thought and prayer over the last year to find a way out!
Being a librarian is not something I grew up dreaming about, I was confident when I started university that I would be a teacher but in the end I decided I was not made for that, I just do not have the commitment it takes.  However, with this foundation removed from under my feet I had no clue what to do and this along with a few job disappointments led me into a call centre that for a long time I didn't know how to get out of.  I ended up using my copious amount of time ‘googling’ what I could do with my life that I would love. I am an avid reader and I have always wanted a job where you work closely with people if you combine the two you can see why being a librarian suits my interests. 

I have been really blessed to have had the time to narrow down my choices and make a decision where there was no pressure to find something in rush. I am fortunate aswell that there was a job available nearby to my home that was a trainee position.

So this is it. The official last day and the start of a new adventure! It’s sad to say goodbye to the people I work with but I am sure we will be comforted by these delicious cakes my sister has made for me!



 Currently reading:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I have almost finished my annual Harry Potter marathon)




Monday, 6 August 2012

Hello there...

After several failed attempts I have decided to start my very own blog. Many people I know have blogs to share their thoughts and to update us interested people. I was quite adamant I would not start a blog. I am in no way witty and I am not sure everyone really needs to hear my thoughts on particular things. However, I have given in and have decided to create a blog as my life takes me in a new direction.


What’s in a Name?
I debated quite a lot about what I should call this blog. With only a short while to go before I make the transition from bored call centre worker to trainee Librarian I felt it would be fitting to use this new job role in the title.  I am expecting to share my thoughts, anecdotes and no doubt a fair share of book reviews along with generally discussing my progress on my journey into becoming a fully qualified librarian. I felt the web address should not contain the word trainee as in the not so distant future I will no longer be in training!
 To start with I think the best thing would be to introduce who I am. So here are 10 facts to get you started:
1.      My name is Lydia Mary Bales (nee Heather)
2.      I love Jesus
3.      I am married to the wonderful Kev (nearly 2 years)
4.      I am 23
5.      I love to read and get through a copious amount of books a month!
6.      I really, really love Giraffes
7.      I am chatty, confident and all in all a general bubbly character
8.      My spelling and grammar can be a bit questionable so I apologise in advance
9.      I am embarking on a career change and I am soon to start a new job training to be a librarian in a Secondary School.
10.    I am also starting a distance learning Masters course in Information and Library studies.
  I think that’s it for now. Hopefully I will be back soon with my first official blog post!